FoundationMark models indicate that U.S. foundations’ assets stood at $1.23 trillion as of September 30, 2021, down slightly from the June 30 record. In the 3rd quarter, FoundationMark estimates that foundations investment performance was down 0.6%, However, since the start of the year, asset levels are projected to be up about $65 billion, driven by the 8.6% year-to-date of the GIV Index.
Grantmaking on the Rise
Asset levels and grantmaking amounts go hand in hand. The steady rise of foundation assets are projected to lead to record giving in 2021. Historically foundations have disbursed about 8% of average assets. (Note: Disbursements include some noncharitable expenses such as investment fees). FoundationMark expects foundations to disburse over $90 billion in 2021, up over 5% from 2020’s level.
*The data in the chart above combines historic information drawn from foundations’ reported asset levels and disbursements obtained from their annual tax filings, along with projected values based on the FoundationMark Grantmaker Investment Value (“GIV”) Index which estimates monthly returns for the foundation universe based on reported asset allocations and market returns. Gifts, grants, and operating expenses projections are based on historic disbursement ranges.